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  • Writer's pictureTuba

27....And Moving Back In With My Parents

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

When the government-mandated lockdown happened in South Africa. I had just come back from a glorious yet tiring 10 week stay in the Caribbean, so I was very excited for the chance to work from home (as I’d been doing for my entire stay abroad) and use my shower – get ready – commute time to gain an extra hour and half of sleep. And so, began what we all thought was just a 21-day break from our normal.

March through to May was amazing! I had my routine on lock, I was exercising, getting my groceries delivered, having Friday quarantinis with friends (remember THAT part of lockdown?? Haha), and generally maintaining a great work life balance all while feeling like a hero because I was adhering to health guidelines to stop the coronavirus. (I only left the house twice between Mid-March and end of May).

But then when the weather started changing and winter set in, it was harder to get up in the morning for my outdoors Pilates classes, and I had to accept the reality that the big trip I had planned for June was not going to happen. The online delivery service I used for my groceries was backlogged and when they finally got an opening, I couldn’t get more than 30 items. My supplies were dwindling and I needed to restock. So, I ventured out, did a big shop and noticed how apocalyptic everything felt with masks, sanitizers at every shop and long socially distanced lines to enter most shops because there was a limit on the number of people that could enter. It felt so lonely.

I missed my parents and cooking became my saving grace. My bestie, Chilando, whom I video called every blessed day would always remark at how elaborate my meals were for someone who lives alone. Then it hit me, WHY am I alone?? Borders had been closed for months by this time but citizens of other countries were allowed to leave South Africa and go back to their countries. I set my plan in motion and started collecting info on how to get on one of those repatriation flights to Zambia.

The first snag I hit was the cost. I had expected the flights to be slightly pricy, but I had not expected that I’d also need to factor in a 2 week stay at a high end hotel as part of the mandatory quarantine period (there were free government options but I didn't consider them because I deserve nice things in life) so I put those plans on hold and did everything in my power to keep my sanity.

I journaled, worked on this blog, joined an online book club, maintained my various relationships, switched to doing Pilates in the afternoons rather than mornings and worked hard at my job. Then the Zambian government ruled that anyone flying into the country can quarantine at home or a location of their choosing and I was so excited! Never had some bureaucratic policy made me so happy. I quickly bought that one-way ticket, put my affairs in order, tried to negotiate for a discount on my rent because I was leaving for a long time (my request was denied), and on 10th July 2020, flew to Zambia from a desolate and eerie-looking OR Tambo International Airport.

I stayed with my bestie for a weekend in Lusaka before going to my parent’s house in Kitwe and we had an amazing time together, just like old times.

As I write this, it’s been a month that I’ve stayed with my parents and I wish I’d come sooner. I took a long nap the morning I arrived Kitwe from Lusaka and that’s when I knew I’d come to my place of peace. Naps are such a great indicator for where I am in my life and the longer, more frequent my naps are, the better I am doing, generally.

I am not sure how long I will stay with my parents but I have mentally prepared for at least 6 months because the lockdown in SA does not seem to be going away anytime soon. I’m grateful that I can continue working at my job from anywhere in the world and for how supportive my parents are of the fact that even though I’m home, I’m not available to run errands, chat or hang out between 8 and 4 pm (not looking anywhere in particular…mom).

After 10 years of living away from home and only visiting twice a year for a month or so, this may be my longest stay with the parents and so far, so good. It does help to have an “end date” to this arrangement but for now, I am happily stepping back into my role as last-born and being spoiled rotten, force-fed, saving money and having every need catered to. I love it here!

#blogger #parents #millenial #lifehacks #movingback

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